Exciting news on the homestead! 

Yesterday, we placed an order with Hoover’s Hatcheries for 15, day old chicks to be shipped to us the week of March 13th!  We are very excited, because CHICKENS and FREE SHIPPING! Our entire order of 15 female chicks, with Mareks vaccinations for all, was 65 bucks and change!

And free shipping! Like, we really cannot get over that… Other hatcheries that sell to Maine charge upwards of $60 for just shipping. And the prices for the chicks are only a bit more. Totally worth it (though, on a side note, the other hatcheries I looked at, Meyer’s  and Murray McMurray, have excellent prices on meat birds, and even with the shipping,so we’ll probably be going with one of those places… I mean check out this Fry Pan Bargain .)

This gives us two weeks to get a brooder set up, and supplies regathered.

So the lowdown on our new chicken breeds-

We are getting a speckled Sussex, a couple Polish, a couple new Amercuanas, an Asian blue, an Amberlink, a golden laced Wyandotte, a Welsummer, a Favorelle, and 4 hatchery choice rare breeds, which could be Silkies or Cochins or Buckeyes, anything considered a rare breed, really… depends on the hatch yield for that day. I couldn’t really make up my mind so I figured hopefully they’ll send me different breeds then what I ordered, and make sure they are cold hardy…. seeing as how they know they are shipping to Maine.

AND the other super exciting news for now, we ordered our seeds from Johnny’s Select Seeds, a Maine company that we really love and feel good supporting with our hard earned dollars. Included in that order, but not limited to- popcorn seed, beets, beans, pumpkins, tomatoes, squash, peas, carrots, peppers and STRAWBERRIES. We got one hundred bare root Honeoye plants, one hundred bare root Sparkle plants and 1000 Alexandria seeds. We’ll be receiving the seeds this month, but the Roots won’t be here until may 17th or so. But that just gives us time to amend the soil to their needs! This is going to be an amazing spring.

Otherwise, its off to the daily rigamarole of housework and making pizza for supper.

Until next time, have a wicked good night!

Garden update 09.14.15 

So I know I promised a post about apple picking, but they aren’t as ripe as we thought they were. So for now I’m going to brag about our wonderful no hands garden.

 It’s been a bountiful year here at Gillis Gardens. So far we have pounds of green beans, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and zucchini in the freezer. We’ve canned tons of jam, pickles, relish and had a fantastic run at maple syrup. We enjoyed fresh salads and are looking forward to canning tomatoes, making sauce and salsa. We’ve had the best pepper season ever, and have dozens of assorted hot peppers drying. I’m making jalapeño poppers today- from peppers we grew!

We’ve had a long summer considering what a rough start we had this year. Winters are long and cold in Maine, but this last one seemed to hit us with a vengeance. As we turn the corner into autumn, we are reminding ourselves to enjoy the craziness of harvest- it’s already getting dark by 7:30… It really is only a hop skip and a jump til thanksgiving. 

Our zucchinis are coming in strong for now

  

Future poppers – recipe to follow sometime this winter I promise

  

These peppers are called Chocolate Bell Peppers, available thru Johnny’s Select Seeds

      

Another shot of our Chocolate Peppers- they turn brown as they ripen

 

This is one of our hot peppers- I think they look like little red lipsticks

  

Just one of our Serrano Pepper plants.

  

Oops! We really don’t like letting our zucchinis get this big, but what can you do?

  

A few onions- we only planted a small bed of yellows this year.

  

We only got the one watermelon to make it this year, but for no effort we’re happy.

  

One of our three cantalopes

  

A record year for our delicata honey boat squash.

  

We use marigolds to deter pests like potato beetles. Plus they’re a pretty addition to the garden.

  

Our days haul- peppers, squash, cucumbers, onions

  

The tomatoes we’ve picked over the last couple days.

  

These beauties will be the subject of a later post

 

Well I’ve got zucchini to shred and freeze, cucumbers to cut for more pickles, and a baby, house, chickens and kitty to care for. 

 

Izzybug and Pepperkitty

 
My next post is all about apples! We’ll probably my next 4 posts, actually. Apples are a big deal in this house. 

So until that time, have a wicked good day.